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Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God?

Mark 1:15
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
KJV

Are the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God the same throughout Scripture? Is one concept taught in one place and another place? Research and discuss at length your conclusions.


Daniel also describes God’s kingdom as being everlasting.

Daniel 4:3 (KJV)
3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

God’s kingdom encompasses the entire earth (Psalm 47:7) as well as material things (Psalm 104), living creatures (Psalm 104), men and their rulers (Dan 4:17), and things invisible (the angels, Psalm 103:2-22). As Moses tells the nation of Israel, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut 6:4, KJV). One king usually means one kingdom. Why then are the references to the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven?

At the outset of this discussion, it is to be understood that the two phrases stand for the same kingdom. They are used interchangeably in Scripture and represent the same concept. For example, Matthew used "kingdom of heaven" where in parallel passages, Mark uses "kingdom of God" (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15). Further, Matthew uses the two phrases interchangeably in the same context in 19:23-24. The difference is attributed to the audiences of the various Gospels. Mark and Luke write to predominately Gentile audiences. The phrase "kingdom of God" would make more sense to a non-Jewish audience. At the same time, Matthew followed the Jewish tendency to avoid the direct use of God’s name and, thus, for the most part, wrote of "heaven" as a substitute for God.

The issue is whether Scriptures will support this conclusion.

The Old Testament sets the background for the kingdoms of the New Testament. If God is the King, He must have a kingdom to rule. As with many other facets of Scripture doctrine, the Old Testament establishes idea of King and Kingdom. God is frequently hailed as the King of Israel (Deut 33:5; Judges 8:23; Isaiah 43:15; see above). David’s throne is referred to as God’s Kingdom in several places (1 Chron 17:14; 28:5; 29:11). As set forth above, God is the ruler of the earth. This includes all of the nations (Psalms 22:28, 47:2; 7-8). The enthronement Psalms (93; 95-99) also contain this theme.

Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets and kings reaffirm God’s sovereignty and control. Not only does God’s control cover His people Israel (Jer 30:3; Ezek 37:15-22; Isaiah 9:7; Hosea 2:26-20), but this sovereignty extends to the foreign nations (Amos 1:3ff; Isaiah 10:1-11; 45:1-13; 49:6; Obad 21; Hag 2:20-23). God is truly King and the Old Testament statement of His kingdom is that it covers all things. The Old Testament sees but a single kingdom.

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October 24, 2020

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